Electronic voting extended to companies

Electronic voting begins to emerge for shareholders of companies to be able to vote no matter where they are. Photo: Cie Automotive

There is virtually no area of human endeavor where technology does not provide solutions. And as part of the most advanced systems to optimize decision-making, electronic voting has come to shareholder meetings, speeding up the process, and what is best, allowing those who are called upon to vote, to do so safely no matter where they are.

The idea was born at the beginning of the decade of 2000 in Spain, and was promoted in enterprises of all sizes and levels; in order to open a business opportunity that encouraged companies engaged in voting technology, to design a system that would cope with the needs of the business world. Also in 2003, a law was passed which directed its use.

Thus, nowadays there are software offerings that enable shareholders to vote remotely (via Internet) and in real time, using a public electronic signature or one recognized by companies’ internal systems. It is also possible that executives may vote through their mobile phones.

This field of e-voting is just beginning to take shape, since equally to the citizenship or the political leadership, which showed resistance when subjected to modernize their election system, many companies have not yet been persuaded to change their voting schemes.

Research in the field has found that, unlike automation for constitutional elections, fears are not related to violation of the secrecy of the vote or fraud in the results, but are framed within the certification of the identity of the shareholder. This obstacle keeps the application of e-voting lagging, due to high of shareholder turnover -stocks are sold and bought daily- makes it difficult when in a meeting, to know exactly who is entitled to vote.

The use of electronic signatures is now the most functional solution found by experts to overcome this obstacle.  However, as in electoral systems of democratic countries, the implementation of corporate electronic voting happens because the will of each corporation is able to implement a system where databases are updated with the frequency required to ensure proper identification of shareholders.

This interesting branch of electoral automation is just beginning, but sheds light on how the electronic voting is overcoming barriers, not only in the field of constitutional elections, but also in business, where although the democracy of a country is not at stake, the survival of companies is put to test, and with them millions of jobs.